Spring has arrived to the Island, and with it a renewed sense of purpose seems evident for those who would defend yet the glorious wild lands and ocean we are blessed to live amidst. Like the perpetual turning of the seasons though, some environmental battles inexorably come round again.
Such is the case with Clayoquot Sound, where years of resistance to forestry and mining abuses prompted international recognition and designation as a UNESCO global Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, but has still proven insufficient to stem the despoilers, who rising zombie-like from apparent mortal defeat come ever back demanding more.
Clayoquot has already the dubious distinction of possessing the highest concentration of fish feed lots in the province, but that didn’t stop Mainstream Canada, a subsidiary of Norwegian fish farm behemoth, Cermaq ASA from asking for another open net-pen operation. And, as they almost invariably do, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans said, “OK!” It’s an unwelcome development for locals, who view this operation as more than a fish farm too far.
Steve Lawson is National Coordinator of the First Nations Environment Network of Canada, and is a former board member of both the Canadian Environmental Network and the Marine and Terrestrial Committees of the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve. He has lived most of the last fifty years on an island off Tofino; working as a fisher, tour boat skipper, and boat builder and designer among other things. Steve says he’s; “…dedicated much of my life here on the coast to protecting old growth forests, wild salmon and other life and have tried to bring forward the understanding of nature and the traditional connections in order to promote the common good for all our relations.”
Steve Lawson in the first half.
And; April Fools Day marks the opening of British Columbia’s Grizzly hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest. Kiff Archer and Jason Moody live within the Great Bear, located along the mid-coast of BC, and they’re both with the newly formed, Central Coast Grizzly Patrol. They were here at the start of last Fall’s hunting season to talk about the beginning of the Coastal First Nations Coalition and its unilaterally declared ban on trophy hunting within their collective territories. The provincial government however neither recognizes the authority of the First Nations to do this, nor honours their demand for a ban on the hunt.
Kiff Archer and Jason Moody still standing tall in defense of the bears and other “trophy” targets in the Great Bear Rainforest in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz from our city’s streets and beyond. But first, Steve Lawson and new battle lines being drawn in Clayoquot.
I just signed the petition “The Government of British Columbia: Decline SIA’s permit to dump contaminated soil in Shawnigan Lake” on Change.org.
It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/